Heeger on solar futures

Santa Barbara Independent: Nobel Prize-winning physicist Alan Heeger will discuss recent progress in the performance of solar cells fabricated from semiconducting polymers, at the February 14 luncheon meeting of the Science and Engineering Council of Santa Barbara. Once its effiiency is improved, the technology holds promise for low-cost, lightweight, solar energy collection via printing or coating roofing materials with specialized plastics.

Heeger is active in the world of business. According to a press release from the Science and Engineering Council, Heeger founded UNIAX Corporation in 1990; UNIAX was acquired by DuPont in 2000. Heeger serves on the Board of Directors Konarka Technologies Inc., and he is a Venture Partner in NGen Partners, a materials-based venture capital firm in Santa Barbara. He is Chairman of CBrite Inc. in Santa Barbara, a new start-up that is focusing on opportunities for printing “plastic electronics.” He is Vice-Chairman of CytomX a newly founded venture to exploit micro fluidics in cell sorting and related areas. His “current interests,” according to the release, include biosensors for detecting targeted sequences on DNA. Heeger holds approximately 50 patents.

In addition to Heeger’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the good doctor has won prestigious awards in new materials and condensed matter physics. He a founding member of the Materials Department at the UCSB Department of Engineering, and the first Director of the Institute for Polymers and Organic Solids. He currently holds the Presidential Chair at UCSB where he serves as Professor of Physics and Professor of Materials.

February’s luncheon takes place at the Elephant Bar and Grill in Goleta, from 12:00-1:30 p.m. The price is $14 for members, $20 for nonmembers.


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